For Michigan State fans this one stings. A lot of the Green and White faithful think the season is over after MSU fell 39-28 Saturday night. The reality of the situation is that the season is just getting started for the Spartans. The goals remain still in front of this team. Obviously losing sucks, but this loss did come against a non-conference opponent.
I’ll always remember being in the Michigan press conference after the 2021 MSU victory over Michigan. Aidan Hutchinson told the room that the end goal is still in front of the Wolverines. They’re going to get better from the defeat. I thought at the time he was crazy. Michigan still went on to beat OSU and win a Big Ten championship.
I’ll say it again if you’re an MSU fan the season is far from over. BUT it’s how you bounce back from a loss that defines who you are. Last season Michigan State fell to Purdue, but beat Maryland the next week. They also got run out of the building by OSU and bounced back and beat Penn State the next week. How you deal with loss is what defines your character. Will you get better and grow from defeat or will you curl up in a ball and continue to lose.
I think Washington is a football team that is really slept on. Kalen Deboer is only starting out his tenure with the Huskies, but he already is showing a lot of promise. Michael Penix Jr. is a special talent that he has displayed in the past, but injuries have been lethal to his career at the same time. Oregon is the only ranked team remaining on Washington’s schedule in the regular season… I think this is a team that we could be talking about going to the PAC-12 title game AND competing for a College Football Playoff spot.
There’s a ton of potential with this team whether it be the coaching staff, QB, WRs, Run Defense, etc. When the season is over and done with, this Husky team will more than likely be ranked and have a really nice record under their belt.
We’ll start with the good which was Payton Thorne and the wide receivers. Even without Jayden Reed traveling I thought the WR core still looked good. Keon Coleman was the player of the game for MSU in my eyes with 9 catches 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. Daniel Barker had 7 receptions for 69 yards and Tre Mosley had 5 catches for 64 yards. The WRs are something that MSU’s offense will look to continue to build off of in future games.
The two biggest things that stuck out to me was the lack of pass rush and the inability to get the run game going. Most people will say the secondary was the worst part and it was bad, but the pass rush certainly didn’t help their defense. Jacoby Windmon for example had 0 QB pressures after being the B1G defensive player of the week twice. Michael Penix Jr. had what seemed to be an eternity to go through his progression and reads. Credit to the Washington offensive line still not allowing a single sack on Penix the entire season three games in. Either way though the pass rush needs to be a major factor for MSU moving forward.
The run game… was nonexistent. Jalen Berger had 13 carries for 27 yards. Jarek Broussard had 4 attempts for 3 yards. The offensive line was awful once again and will continue to be all season, but Berger made a couple of decisions that weren’t good. Then Broussard got tripped up by his own O-lineman’s leg for a safety. You can’t win football games when you have negative rushing yards a majority of the first half and 42 total the entire game.
Biggest takeaway is that if the defensive scheme doesn’t change then Michigan State DC Scottie Hazelton will be let go at the end of the season if not before then if things aren’t going well.
There’s a lot of things that MSU needs to fix heading back to East Lansing to take on Minnesota at 3:30 pm ET. Spartan fans and this team are going to find out real quick what kind of team they are when they face adversity.
Photo: © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK